Physical Trigger For Stuttering

Hi Experts! I’ve got one more question. What is the physical trigger for stuttering? What I mean is what part of speech is effected by stuttering? Is it that the mouth somehow isn’t coordinated enough to go into the right positions to make the sounds? Or is it that the vocal cords get too tense to vibrate? Or is it that the lungs or diaphragm can’t coordinate proper breathing? Or does it have something to do with the part of the brain that generates language? Is it different for each person? For me it seems like what happens is I know exactly what words I want to say, and I know how to move my mouth properly to say them, but I feel like my throat gets too tense, and then the vocal cords can’t vibrate properly to generate sound. So then I just sort of stop my mouth from moving onto the next sound until my vocal cord tension is low enough that the vocal cords can vibrate. I’m wondering what the professional opinion is on this?

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Physical Trigger For Stuttering — 2 Comments

  1. I’ll take a shot at your questions, Alex. The answer to most of them is yes. What I mean is that for some, respiration is discoordinated, for others it’s voicing or the articulators (lips & tongue, mostly). Or the coordination between these systems is off. It does appear to be different for different people. But all of those systems involve motor signals originating in the brain. So I would conclude that while stuttering is a neurological disorder, it can be manifested in a variety of ways.

  2. Alex,

    You ask a really interesting question and describe what happens to you so clearly. I think if you would ask your question to the real experts on stuttering – people who live with stuttering – you would get a variety of different answers. Even looking at some of the pictures kids draw about their stuttering from an earlier ISAD online conference (look at you will see that some show there is a problem at the level of the lips or the tongue, some at the level of the larynx, some seem to focus on the brain. So stuttering affects people in different ways.